International Youth Conference at Vadodara 10 & 11 August 2013
The message of Swami Vivekananda of strength, universal brotherhood, character building and social service is very relevant to the modern youth of the whole world. This was the conclusion arrived at in the International Youth Conference organized in commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, by Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Memorial, Vadodara, Gujarat,(India). Held at the commodious CC Mehta Auditorium in MS University, on August 10 & 11, 2013, the Youth Conference was inaugurated by Sri Nitinbhai Patel, Minister of Finance, Government of Gujarat, on 10th August morning. Swami Suhitanandaji, the General Secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Belur Math, was the Guest of Honour.

In the Special Opening Session, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, addressed and interacted with 600 youth delegates drawn from 24 countries such as USA, Afghanistan, Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, Bangladesh, Taiwan and so on. Written as well as video-recorded message by the Director General of UNESCO especially sent for the Youth Conference was read out and played during the inaugural function.

This first ever International Youth Conference organised by world-wide Ramakrishna Mission was addressed by a number of eminent speakers drawn from different walks of life including several monks of the Ramakrishna Order.
The highlights of the two-day Conference included a video conference and interaction with Sri Sam Pitroda (Chairman, National Innovation Council and Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation) and address by Dr. Bikas Sanyal ( Vice Chairman, UNESCO International Initiative for Capacity Building in Africa), experience-sharing by Ms. Arunima Sinha (the first woman of the world with artificial leg to scale Mount Everest), short speeches by several foreign youth delegates, and cultural presentations by various groups.

The programme was live webcast and widely reported in the media.
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